Australia’s national science agency CSIRO and the peak national body representing gas distribution and electricity transmission and distribution businesses in Australia, Energy Networks Australia have partnered to develop an Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap (the Roadmap).

Based on two years work and extensive consultation the Roadmap identifies the complex challenges facing Australia’s electricity system in the face of diversified energy supply and identifies a strategy for the future, as well as a deliverable plan to achieve it.

The report finds that with a co-ordinated plan in 2050:

• Customers retain security and reliability essential to lifestyle and employment

• Networks pay distributed energy resources customers $2.5 billion per annum for grid support services by 2050.

• Electricity sector achieves zero net emissions by 2050

• $16 billion in network infrastructure investment is avoided by management of distributed energy resources like solar and batteries

• Reduction in cumulative total electricity network expenditure of $101 billion by 2050

• Network charges 30% lower than 2016

• $414 annual saving in average household electricity bills (compared with roadmap counterfactual, business as usual, pathway)

• A medium family who cannot take up distributed energy resources is over $600 p.a. better off through removal of cross subsidies.

This roadmap is significant in many ways and in some areas could provide examples of the changes also required in New Zealand. Valuing the contribution distributed generation sources such as solar and batteries provide to the electricity network is central to this and as evidenced by the possible savings outlined in this roadmap. 

Although we are behind Australia in terms of uptake of solar and batteries our predictions of growth mean that New Zealand also needs a roadmap of similar scale with input from all involved in the electricity network if New Zealand is to realise savings and gains of a similar scale. 

SEANZ commends Energy Networks Australia for their vision to restructure and modernise their industry and we patiently await similar revelations from their New Zealand counterparts. 

You can read more on the Energy Networks Australia website here

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